Cut, copy, paste inventor Larry Tesler has died

Date:20 February 2020 Author: Imogen Searra

At the age of 74, Larry Tesler, who helped shape early computing, has died. Having worked in Silicon Valley since the early 1960s, Tesler’s invention of the commands “cut”, “copy”, “paste” helped make early personal computers user-friendly.

Tesler studied at Stanford University in California and specialised in user interface-design after graduation, according to BBC News.

He is remembered for his inclusive attitude of wanting to make computers accessible for everyone. He believed that computer systems should stop using “modes” which at the time, were very common in software design.

Techopedia defines modes as: “a mode is a user setting in which the same input produces different results in different modes. A mode serves as a mechanism that provides users with added functionality features that would not otherwise fit into a program’s main operational flow.”

Tesler’s Twitter, @nomodes, license plate “No Modes” and website, “” attest to his dismay for modes.

Tesler’s career is particularly noteworthy. He worked at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center as a researcher, where he was headhunted by Steve Jobs. At Apple he played a key role in shaping the company. He contributed majorly to the user interface design of the Lisa, Macintosh and Newton. Tesler managed the Lisa applications team.

After leaving Apple in 1997, Tesler founded an education start-up and had brief stints at Amazon as VP of the shopping experience. Tesler also worked as head of user experience design and research at Yahoo.

In an interview with BBC in 2012, Tesler said: “There’s almost a rite of passage – after you’ve made some money, you don’t just retire, you spend your time funding other companies. There’s a very strong element of excitement, of being able to share what you’ve learned with the next generation.”


Image: Twitter


You may also like: